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Visibility

Visibility Can visibility be counted as a general category for the social sciences? The attempt to provide an answer to this question entails both describing actual phenomena of visibility, and defining the characteristics of visibility as a workable, unified category. This article analyses the relational, strategic and processual aspects of visibility as constituting a single field. The importance of this field is rooted in the deep epistemology of seeing present in our society, as well as in its ratio vis-a-vis the other human sensory dimensions and extensions. At the substantive level, the article addresses the question of the ambivalences of visibility and its effects, according to social places and subjects. Recognition and control are understood and explained as two opposing outcomes of visibility. It is argued that empowerment does not rest univocally either with visibility (as it is assumed by the tradition of recognition) or with invisibility (as it is assumed by the arcana imperii tradition). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Sociology SAGE

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References (66)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0011-3921
eISSN
1461-7064
DOI
10.1177/0011392107076079
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Can visibility be counted as a general category for the social sciences? The attempt to provide an answer to this question entails both describing actual phenomena of visibility, and defining the characteristics of visibility as a workable, unified category. This article analyses the relational, strategic and processual aspects of visibility as constituting a single field. The importance of this field is rooted in the deep epistemology of seeing present in our society, as well as in its ratio vis-a-vis the other human sensory dimensions and extensions. At the substantive level, the article addresses the question of the ambivalences of visibility and its effects, according to social places and subjects. Recognition and control are understood and explained as two opposing outcomes of visibility. It is argued that empowerment does not rest univocally either with visibility (as it is assumed by the tradition of recognition) or with invisibility (as it is assumed by the arcana imperii tradition).

Journal

Current SociologySAGE

Published: May 1, 2007

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